Date
27 July 2017
White bubbles are shown in the skin of the watermelon. The tag (right picture) shows the name of a Shenzhen company where the fruit originated. Photo: YouTube
White bubbles are shown in the skin of the watermelon. The tag (right picture) shows the name of a Shenzhen company where the fruit originated. Photo: YouTube

Public alarm over bubbling watermelon just a lot of froth

A bubbling watermelon is raising a froth on social media after a video purporting to show it was laced with an additive went viral.

A man who uploaded the 82-minute clip on YouTube said be bought the watermelon in Sham Shui Po.

It came with a tag from a Shenzhen company under the Black Beauty brand.

The clip shows white bubbles coming out of the watermelon while it is being washed.

The man said it had holes in the skin.

A Ming Pao reporter went to the same Sham Shui Post fruit stand and bought the same brand of watermelon but found no bubbles when it was immersed in water.

A salesperson said they have not received any complaints.

Cheung Chi-cheung, vice chairman of the Kowloon Fruit and Vegetable Merchants Association, said the watermelon might have been overripe, causing bubbles to escape from its rotting pulp.

He said injecting sweeteners into a watermelon is unnecessary and the act is illegal.

However, the use of organic treatments during planting is not uncommon, he said. 

Michael Lam, a biochemistry professor in the City University of Hong Kong, said it’s normal practice for farmers to use growth hormones on watermelons.

Theoretically, these pose no health risks, he said.

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TL/AC/RA

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